Orchestra (TSO) is an orchestra based in Toronto,
Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1922, the TSO gave regular concerts at
Massey Hall until 1982, and since then has performed at Roy Thomson
Hall. The TSO also manages the
Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra
Peter Oundjian became the TSO's music director in 2003.
2 Music directors
4 External links
The TSO was founded in 1922 as the New Symphony Orchestra, and gave
its first concert at
Massey Hall in April 1923 with 58 musicians. The
first conductor was Luigi von Kunits, and that season there were
twenty concerts, as well as a performance at a spring festival.
In the summer of 1924, the symphony performed at the Canadian National
Exhibition. Shortly thereafter, the TSO began holding children's
concerts. The orchestra changed its name to the
Orchestra in 1927. In 1929, the TSO made its radio debut with a
one-hour broadcast on CBC Radio from the Arcadian Court of Simpson's
After von Kunits' death in 1931, conductor and composer Ernest
MacMillan served as music director for 25 years.
Peter Oundjian conducts
Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Roy Thomson Hall,
Toronto, June 2014
The orchestra had made headlines for its hiring practices in 1951,
when it declined to renew the contracts of musicians, thereafter known
Symphony Six who had been denied entry to the United States on
suspicion of communist activities, during the McCarthy Era.
Andrew Davis was the TSO's music director from 1975 to 1988, and then
was given the title of conductor laureate with the TSO.
The orchestra had financial and audience size problems in the 1990s,
and in 1992 TSO musicians had accepted a 16% pay cut because of a
threat of bankruptcy to the orchestra, with a promise from management
to make up the loss in subsequent contract negotiations. By 1999, this
pay restoration had not happened, which led to an 11-week musicians'
strike that autumn. Relations between the musicians and management
deteriorated, and the music director at the time, Jukka-Pekka Saraste,
offered to serve as mediator in the situation. In addition, there was
a lack of public sympathy to the orchestra musicians' situation.
By 2001, the orchestra had debt of $7 million (Canadian), and both
executive director Ed Smith and music director Saraste had left the
Peter Oundjian was appointed as music director in January 2003 and
became music director with the 2004–2005 season. The 2005
documentary film Five Days in September: The Rebirth of an Orchestra
(Canada, 2005) recorded the first days of the TSO's inaugural season
with Oundjian as its new music director. His most recent TSO
contract extension was through the 2017-2018 season. He is
scheduled to conclude his TSO tenure at the close of the 2017-2018
By the 2006–2007 season, the subscriber base had increased to about
25,000, and the audience average capacity also increased to 84%.
In November 2008, the orchestra reported its third consecutive year of
budget surpluses, with average audience attendance of 88% (excluding
concerts for schoolchildren), although the orchestra still retains
overall debt of $8.9 million (Canadian).
In April 2015, controversy ensued after the TSO cancelled the
appearance of Valentina Lisitsa, citing Twitter postings by her in
relation to the conflict in Ukraine which were seen as conducive to
'public incitement of hatred' under the Criminal Code of Canada.
In January 2017, the TSO announced its participation in the
celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Canada, with a cross-country
celebration of Canadian music and musicians to involve 40 orchestras
and as many as 60 new commissions called "Canada Mosaic" and funded by
the Canadian government.
Luigi von Kunits
Luigi von Kunits (1922–1931)
Ernest MacMillan (1931–1956)
Walter Susskind (1956–1965)
Seiji Ozawa (1965–1969)
Karel Ančerl (1969–1973)
Victor Feldbrill (1973–1978)
Sir Andrew Davis (1975–1988)
Günther Herbig (1988–1994)
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1994–2001)
Peter Oundjian (2004–present)
^ a b c d Vyhnak, Carola. "Birth of the
Toronto Symphony Orchestra".
Toronto Star, 14 June 2015, page A12.
^ William Littler for the
Toronto Star. May 8, 2015. The TSO’s
Englishman in Toronto
Toronto Symphony negotiations hit sour note". CBC News. 25
September 1999. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
^ Warren, Richard, It Begins With The Oboe. University of Toronto
Press (Toronto, 2002; ISBN 978-0-8020-3588-2), pp. 209–211.
^ Tamara Bernstein (25 October 2001). "
Toronto Symphony Teeters on the
Edge of Ruin". andante.com. Archived from the original on November 17,
2002. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
^ John Terauds (8 February 2007). "Conductor puts mark on TSO through
Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
^ James R Oestreich (2011-03-16). "Orchestra, Back From the Brink".
New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
^ Arthur Kaptainis (2016-02-05). "Two more seasons for TSO's Peter
Oundjian". National Post. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
^ Robert Harris (2017-01-25). "
Orchestra unveils its
final Oundjian-led season". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved
^ John Terauds (3 February 2007). "TSO's new season".
^ John Terauds (20 November 2008). "TSO salutes its third surplus in
Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
Toronto symphony bans Ukrainian-born pianist over 'provocative'
tweets denouncing Kyiv's 'neo-Nazis'". National Post. 2015-04-07.
^ Harris, Robert (20 January 2017). "Canada Mosaic: An imperfect but
important cultural program". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8 February
^ Littler, William (16 January 2017). "Canada Mosaic puts Canadian
music on the map
Toronto Star. Retrieved 8 February
Orchestra official website
Roy Thomson Hall
Roy Thomson Hall official website
Orchestra Music Directors
Luigi von Kunits
Luigi von Kunits (1922)
Ernest MacMillan (1931)
Walter Susskind (1956)
Seiji Ozawa (1965)
Karel Ančerl (1969)
Victor Feldbrill (1973)
Andrew Davis (1975)
Günther Herbig (1988)
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1994)
Peter Oundjian (2004)
ISNI: 0000 0001 1312 9442
BNF: cb139071065 (data)